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Aug 5, 2009 12:32 PM

Where to Eat Next? Marea or Harbour? Bar at Scarpetta? Someplace Else?

Will be in the city next week for a meeting then heading back to Saratoga with a friend. Want to get my NYC food fix while I'm in town. My favorite restaurant is Falai. Some recent dining experiences I have really enjoyed:

*Graffiti (except for the space)

Been to Corton, Degustation, Locanda Verde (lunch), EMP (lunch), Robuchon, etc.

I am looking for really good food. Food that surprises. Counter/bar seating would be great. Not interested in Greek this time. Not into Blue Hill, etc. Prefer midtown, downtown. Not into a scene or a challenging reservation process. Only caveat is I don't eat red meat (the Hearth pig roast on Tuesday won't work for me :)

Thanks in advance for your help. I will report back.

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  1. Was (maybe still will) going to post that--I just had a truly fantastic meal at SHO Shaun Hergatt downtown on Broad Street. $30/3 course prix fixe for lunch is now, to me, equal to JG for the best lunch deal in town. I just experienced JG/EMP level service and yes, surprising food. Not a lot of people sitting at the bar, but they do have one. They're on opentable. Ate no red meat while I was there. I did have a gazpacho, a barley risotto and a peach soup for dessert (with additional little treats). My dining companion had a bacon-wrapped poussin, with the same app/dessert as me. Everything was top of the line, delicate in flavor, composed and complex.

    I'm worried for this place, since I think concept/timing were not best matched for its launch, and I'd really like to see it succeed. It is, to me, currently matchless in terms of a fine-dining option in the neighborhood.

    p.s.--I am also one of Scarpetta's biggest fans, so I'd never pooh-pooh the idea of eating there (short rib/polenta/spaghetti/capretto/budino, or Simon has also posted his completely different perfect meal), but am thinking SHO may be more up your alley for this particular request based on Falai/Degustation/Robuchon/"surprising" axis.

    1 Reply
    1. re: planetjess

      Thanks planetjess. Sounds like it might be perfect. And I believe they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Agree their timing and size may prove challenging. Nothing much on this Board so you might want to post a report based on your experience.

    2. i vote for Marea, but that's because it's on my short list of places i *really* want to get to.

      5 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        I need to do a search of this Board and look at Marea's menu.

        1. re: financialdistrictresident

          you can download the menu from their website:

          i was seriously salivating the first time i read it. everything sounded good to me!

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Thanks. Didn't know Convivio was a sister restaurant.

        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

          You can see that the only one recommending Marea is someone who hasn't been there yet.

          1. re: beaulieu

            it wasn't a recommendation, it was a suggested option to consider - there's a difference.

        3. Huh, TV had me convinced that pork is the other white meat. No red meat = no beef. And you don't eat pork, but chicken, fish, seafood are OK?

          This is kind of from left field, but what about the chef's counter at Kyo Ya?

          12 Replies
          1. re: kathryn

            agree w/kathryn, kyo ya is ridiculous awesome. also, harbour got completely DESTROYED today in the Post:


            1. re: iFat

              I would not trust the Post for a restaurant review. I wasn't aware they even had a reviewer (what's his name? never heard of him) The review was completely idiotic. The only thing I could agree with was the complaint about the icky yogurt dip for the bread, which I remedied by simply asking for some butter. I don't get all the noise about the odd layout. So what if it is long and narrow and wraps around a parking lot (which you don't see from inside). The decor, including the chandelier, is really quite nice and the seating is comfortable. Seafood this creative at such reasonable prices is not easy to find.

              1. re: rrems

                Hadn't gotten around to Harbour yet, but I wonder how it's doing since the original chef left (something the Post reviewer mentions) ...

                1. re: squid kun

                  Last time we were there the chef apparently had already left, though we did not know it at the time. There was no deteriation in quality, and if you read the comments on that Eater posting, you will see that it continues to get raves from diners.

            2. re: kathryn

              No pork. If it quacks, clucks or swims I usually eat it :) I probably won't try sea slugs again . . . Thanks, I'll look at Kyo Ya's menu.

              1. re: kathryn

                kathryn, if pork is the other white meat than ostrich is the other red meat. SO and friend convinced me that an ostrich is poultry. . .it looked just like beef and they enjoyed the ostrich skewers. I tried a bite and couldn't eat it. See what 20 years of no red meat does to a person? Maybe I need to talk to steakrules :)

                What do you suggest at Kyo Ya? I'll be in the city next week and might need a place to eat . . .I'll also do a seach of this Board.

                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                  "Maybe I need to talk to steakrules :)"
                  or me! :)

                  i was a veg for over 20 years, and started eating meat again in '07. and yes, though it looks like beef, zoologically speaking, ostrich is poultry. i really like it, partly because it's so lean - i still can't stomach any type of fatty meat.

                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                    At Kyo Ya it's all about the daily specials. They often have unique raw fish flown in from Japan. You can get it as sashimi or as a box sushi roll. We always get the Hokkaido Lamb Chops, as my husband is addicted to those. I have also liked the oysters, whatever gratin they have on the menu, uni and yuba, fresh edamame on the branch (they serve you the entire branch), and beef tongue. The menu changes all the time based upon what they've flown in from Japan.

                    The service is very very nice even if their English isn't that great. We even had one server run and get a dictionary to help translate some obscure ice cream flavor I didn't understand.

                    1. re: kathryn

                      Thanks so much, kathryn. I'll report back after I go.

                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                        Kathryn, we're going to Kyo Ya on Saturday. When I called (they're not on they advised no tasting menu, only ala carte.

                        PS I'm a very lucky girl - SHO, Falai and now Kyo Ya all in one week. I have a lot to be grateful for :)

                          1. re: kathryn

                            Kathryn, we went to Kyo Ya. Will post a report soon (and my late Montreal trip report). Thanks again for the rec. We enjoyed it very much.

                2. Thanks everyone. Ended up at Aldea last night for dinner and SHO for lunch today. Planetjess, SHO was an excellent suggestion. I'll post my reports on the Aldea and SHO threads. Maybe Kyo Ya next time . . .

                  1. Scarpetta...YUM!!! Been there 2x and amazing both times. Other than that, Aldea would be my next choice....loved it. Marea did not do it for me, and have not been to Harbour yet. If you would consider Italian, I have heard wonderful things about Alto in midtown.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: taboo

                      Alto is very good, but I would choose Scarpetta (and in fact Convivio as well) over it ... it's a bit overpriced, the service on our visit was up-and-down (especially for a 2 rosette place) and I just don't know that the value is there when compared to Scarpetta.

                      Aldea is really good, though very different from Scarpetta. Have not been to Harbour nor Marea, so I cannot comment on those.

                      1. re: a213b

                        Been to Convivio. It was okay. Went to Aldea a few times. It's one of our favorites.